By Richard Bhainie
WITH an invigorating plan to foster investment, the government will construct a legal architecture to facilitate a conducive environment for growth and development in every sector of the economy.
This was disclosed by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, S.C., during an interview on Trinidad and Tobago’s WESN Content Capital “Unwind” with Siewdath Persaud.
In the interview the Attorney General spoke about his ministry’s role in encouraging investment in Guyana.
The Attorney General explained that he is tasked with overhauling and revamping the entire legal system of the country, which includes developing and implementing legislation to create the environment and atmosphere conducive to the transformational development Guyana will undergo.
In anticipation of the phenomenal hospitality industry foreseen for Guyana, consequent upon agreements and expressions of interest by international brands to invest in Guyana, policies for the hospitality sector will be introduced.
“At least five international, branded hotels have evinced an intention to start operations here; in fact, three will be constructed this year. We have numbers of expression of interests from all across the world for town houses and condominiums to be established and to be built here, so we have to update our laws to accommodate these kinds of investments,” he said.
Nandlall highlighted that the country will also see new zoning policies, updated public health legislation and policies for the oil-and-gas industry and the externalities associated with it.
“The oil-and-gas sector alone carries with it a comprehensive amalgam of legislation that we have to implement, and in this regard we are going to retain an international company that will guide us in this respect,” Nandlall said.
He added: “The public’s health as well is very, very important and no one will want to come and invest unless they feel safe health-wise, so we have to revamp the entire public health sector and progress has begun with a menu of legislation that is under review.”
He explained that the legal sector plays an imperative role in encouraging private investment and the government will be seeing that necessary arrangements are in place for investors to feel safe doing business in Guyana.
“No company will want to invest where there is no respect for the rule of law and where they cannot effectively settle their disputes and where their investments are not protected by the highest form of legal and constitutional accord and imprimatur,” he said.
A consistent provision emanating from contracts within the oil-and-gas industry is one which encourages disputes to be settled by alternate methods of dispute resolution.
In those regards, a new arbitration act will be tabled. Government has so far contracted Justice Courtney Abel, a prominent legal practitioner within the Caribbean, to review all of Guyana’s existing laws and regulations in the subject area and make appropriate recommendations for the repeal, reform and passing of new laws.
These policies reflect the government’s intention to facilitate the overarching policy of the PPP/C government to encourage investment from and through partnership with the private sector.
“We believe that a partnership with the private sector is what will transform Guyana in the manner that we want it to be transformed and in which it is capable of being transformed,” Nandlall said.